Application of Plastochron Index to Common Bean Grown in Controlled Environments

in Journal of the American Society for Horticultural Science
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  • 1 Department of Plant Breeding and Biometry, Cornell University, Ithaca, NY 14853

This study was undertaken to determine whether plastochron index (PI), a mathematical construct that quantifies shoot development, can be applied to indeterminate bean (Phaseolus vulgaris L.) genotypes. Length measurements of the middle trifoliate leaflet were the basis of the PI calculation. The expansion of each middle trifoliate leaflet at every node on each plant tested was measured over time to determine whether the growth pattern of each leaflet fits the assumptions of the PI construct. Plants from five indeterminate bean genotypes were grown in two controlled environments: A constant 29C with 12-hr of daylength, and a constant 23C with 12-hr daylength extended to 14 hr with low light intensity. Early leaflet expansion was exponential for all five genotypes in both environments. Expansion rates of successive leaflets were also similar, although a few leaflets in three of the 10 genotype-environment combinations differed in their rates of expansion. Exponential and equal rates of expansion validate the calculation of the fractional component of the PI. In both environments, all genotypes exhibited an increasing rate of leaf initiation with time, which precludes the use of a simple linear slope in estimating rate of development.

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